Alternative Parenting & Feral Children (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate
Lesson Topic: parenting, homeschooling, alternative parenting
Skill Focus
: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 2 hours
Lesson Plan Download: Parenting-Feral-Children-UppIntermediate-15012012.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • Note: This lesson was updated in April 2024.
  • After warm-up questions, students read a 307-word passage that describes the 'alternative' parenting practices of a couple from the Czech Republic that got them arrested. The second half of the passage introduces the idea of feral children, i.e. children who were raised in the wild.
  • After comprehension questions, students match vocabulary from the video to definitions and then form discussion questions using the target vocabulary. 
  • Post-reading activities include a debate about the ethics of baby boxes and a role-play about homeschooling. Next, students discuss a handful of alternative parenting ideas.
  • The lesson ends with a review of key vocabulary, some famous quotations about parenting, collocation matching, and then some final discussion questions.

An image of parents walking in nature


Warm-up (Pair Work)

  1. Were you ever left alone or lost for a long time as a child? Or have you lost a child?
  2. What qualities make a good parent?
  3. What does “alternative parenting” mean? What are some alternative parenting ideas?
  4. If you had to be raised by animals in the wild, what animals would be the best parents?

Membership is required to view this post. Please support EnglishCurrent by becoming a member today. Members, please log in.

--This lesson plan was created by Matthew Barton of (copyright). Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. ChatGPT was used to generate answer keys and some famous quotations. For questions, contact the author.

Comprehension Question Answer Key

  1. The boys were only able to say the word "hello," unable to walk normally, and lacked the regular "bite reflex."
  2. The passage does not mention any incident of biting a policeman. It states that the children reportedly lacked the regular "bite reflex."
  3. The parents did not register the children to avoid compulsory vaccinations due to their subscription to an "alternative lifestyle" which included forgoing all electronic devices.
  4. The father was given an eight-year prison sentence.
  5. Yes, Victor could hear. His hearing was described as “nothing but a simple means of self-preservation,” used to warn of approaching danger or the fall of wild fruit.
  6. The study of Victor helped scientists better understand human nature, the role of the environment in the learning process, and language development.

Vocabulary Answers: 1-i, 2-a, 3-b, 4-e, 5-k, 6-d, 7-j, 8-f, 9-c, 10-g, 11-h

Collocations: 1-d, 2-b, 3-g, 4-a, 5-c, 6-e, 7-f


  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]

1 comments on “Alternative Parenting & Feral Children (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. Michelle Gerber (Posted on 7-21-2021 at 12:08) Reply

    This resource is fantastic! Well done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *